Let children make mistakes
Why shouldn’t parents teach their children how to do things always rightly? And is it bad to make mistakes?
On social networks, we still encounter perfect parents who have 5 children, but without nannies’ or grandmothers’ help manage to do yoga, cook healthy food, take endless online courses and, of course, never get tired. They do absolutely everything, but we, ordinary people, do not. It’s okay. Sometimes it’s possible and necessary to make a mistake.
Do not be afraid of mistakes
One of my friends’ daughters – a girl of primary school age – told her grandmother that she doesn’t want to live because she is often wrong. And everyone who’s wrong is not worthy of love. She thinks it is critically bad to make mistakes. It immediately became clear to me that the main problem here is not the girl, but the parents. Of course, they love their daughter very much, are proud of her achievements, and do their best to be a super mom or super dad. They can even say: «It’s not a big deal that you got a «C». But the kid wouldn’t believe it. She lives with perfectionist parents and wants to be perfect as they do.
I’m a perfectionist myself and that is why I understand the phenomenon and know what negative comments can do. It’s not as right or as good as it may seem at first glance. What seems to be wrong with striving for perfection? But there are clearly more disadvantages than pluses. An internal perfectionist won’t let everything go «as it is», he/she’ll make you do double-check, to worry, to become sad and annoying. If you find a mistake – you get upset; if you don’t find it – you doubt. You are sure there is a mistake, it’s just stayed unnoticed.
At school, a teacher told me that it can always be done better. I checked my work until the end of the lesson, got nervous, and even anxious, my hands were shaking. I stopped rejoicing at my achievements. The importance I attached to my mistakes (both my own and others’) completely eclipsed the brilliance of success and the pleasure of winning. Negative comments accompanied my life constantly.
How to solve the problem?
But once I realized that there are too many mistakes in the world and too few of my own strength. I had to solve the problem. It turned out that:
- There are people who see other people’s mistakes very well. What a relief!
- I notice my mistakes after a while. So sometimes it’s easier for me to find the very people who are good at finding other people’s mistakes. And trust them to check on them.
- I learned to stop doing enough, not perfect. I understood it is not so bad to make mistakes.
Perfectionists often say that they allow others to make mistakes, but they are strict only towards themselves. That’s not true. They don’t allow themselves or others to make mistakes. The internal rigidity, with which they spend their strength to fight their imperfections, transforms not only in the loss of joy and pleasure in life. It will certainly manifest itself in a relationship. Especially in relationships with children. They often perceive children falling even more painful than anything else.
Everybody has the right to make a mistake. And the opportunity to correct a mistake – too. If I had been offered to live my life anew and renounce the mistakes I have made, I would not have done it. Because it wouldn’t be not me, but a completely different person.
Brilliant people make brilliant discoveries out of mistakes. In a good way, an ordinary person gives birth to an experience from every mistake that can be useful for the next generation. A mistake is an occasion to try again in another way or with new information. Any negative comment should not affect your self-perception.
Let yourself live without judgment
It is quite easy to consider perfectionism a personal fault. It is important to understand how to turn a desperate desire to be flawless to correct it. For example, to see not your perfectionism, but your purposefulness and persistence. If you will learn to appreciate these qualities in yourself, you will gradually move away from a desperate desire to avoid mistakes to the scenario when the mistakes will work for you. You will perceive your failures as part of the experience, as a lesson, as a return by «stumbling» and will be able to use your inherent perseverance to create something more. All this applies to children. You should perceive mistakes kids make as a way of learning.
Stop being perfect, just be yourself
You chase an abstract perfect version of yourself trying to be perfect and deny your personal traits, habits and instincts that do not fit into this ideal model. Understand: your imperfections, features and strangeness make you the most valuable creature on the planet. You bring to the world something new by remaining yourself, which no one else can offer. You see the world differently, you see opportunities that others do not notice, you offer solutions that others could not come up with. That is why mistakes are so important.
Do not limit yourself, let your mind continue to fix on details
The main thing is to see the opportunities in such an experience. The most appropriate way to do this is to ask yourself questions. When you ask a question – your mind starts to explore all available options. To make this as productive as possible, do not wait for an instant answer. Let your mind be in a state of free search, study, reflection. Let the possibilities find you themselves. This applies to other people too. You should let them fail, it is absolutely okay.
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